The inaugural MarTech Conference begins Tuesday. And it’s sold out. So, being the altruists that we are, we’ve decided to siphon some insights on the current state of martech from the conference’s program chair, Scott Brinker, out to all of you who were unable to register. You can follow the conversations @MarTechConf and @Integrate.
Many companies struggle to measure content marketing. Unlike other marketing activities, there’s not a single set of definitive metrics. This is due largely in part to the variety of outcomes content marketing is expected to deliver.
According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 benchmark report, B2B content marketers named their top goals as brand awareness, lead generation, customer acquisition, and thought leadership, respectively. These top four goals were named by more than 65% of respondents.
While many marketing organizations continue to maintain silos for these and other functions, the days of narrowly defined marketing roles are numbered. Customers don’t consume information in silos, so neither can marketers operate in one-dimensional roles.
Disclaimer: I'm conflicted when it comes to giving fellow marketing people advice. On one hand, it feeds my ego. On the other hand, we all compete with each other and frankly my company pays me for IP and execution — not to share good IP. But, I love demand gen, the challenges and complexity it brings.
Marketing has a clear mandate to prove ROI; we’ve heard this time and time again. Similarly, we’re now hearing the mantra “closing the loop” as the main way to validate our marketing spend and optimize it for future campaigns. Far too much gets written on the “Why,” yet the “How” is rarely addressed.
One of the things I love most about the marketing tech industry is its rapid evolution — new solutions create new opportunities, which result in innovation that circles back to new solutions. What’s more, I’m lucky enough to have a job that’s almost entirely focused on observing this evolution in order to benefit customers. During the last year, there’s been significant technological progress that has created many new opportunities (read “needs”) among marketers, but one has stood out more than any other simply due to the number of times it has been brought up during discussions with marketers: the desire to combine all offline data with newly standardized online systems.
Data is becoming the lifeblood of media companies. The ability to capture, access and leverage accurate data to serve the right content to customers and execute effective media campaigns is essential. Marketing customers expect high-performing, measurable results from their media-driven marketing programs, and they want the resulting data to flow seamlessly into their marketing systems for immediate action. The need for actionable data is a given for today’s marketers, but their media partners (publishers, affiliates, bloggers, etc.) have not fully embraced this new world. It’s time for media companies to take control.
We’re well into the second half of the year and focused on nailing 2014 goals. Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning and thinking about our 2015 marketing budgets. I know – buzz kill. Budgeting is much more dynamic in the era of agile marketing. The agile approach works well for program-based budgets, but not always for critical infrastructure and key hires you need to support and scale your marketing efforts. Investments in technology and people are typically big-budget items that require executive- or board-level buy-in, which means you need to do your homework and build your case.
There’s been a tremendous amount of talk about the importance of integrations lately. In fact, it was a key theme at Oracle Interact this year. Kevin Akeroyd, general manager of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, recently stated in a CMSWire blog post: “Unlike the past, when it's been enough to go out and buy best-of-breed, I believe the winners are going to be the ones who are very committed to integration. Integration is going to become as important, if not more important, as buying best-of-breed assets." As Scott Brinker predicted months ago, due to the proliferation of marketing technologies, marketing cloud vendors are increasingly leaning toward integrated, open-platform strategies to provide their customers all the capabilities they require.
Marketing organizations know that quality marketing data is the key to unlocking marketing’s potential to drive maximum business value and create happy customers. Data-driven marketers are continually finding new ways to dissect and apply data in order to increase marketing performance. Yet, our ability to leverage data effectively in our marketing efforts is directly affected by the quality of the data fueling those efforts.